Rio Tinto abandons Mexican tie-up with Azure

Image: Azure Minerals

Rio Tinto subsidiary, Kennecott Exploration, has walked away from a potential joint venture with Azure Minerals at the Promontorio copper-gold project in Mexico.

Kennecott informed Azure that it would not complete stage two commitments of a joint venture agreement that would lead to it earning 51 per cent of the project, if executed.

The Rio Tinto subsidiary has spent $US4 million ($5.33 million) on exploration programs at Promontorio since early 2015.

According to an Azure ASX announcement, the results from these programs confirmed the prospectivity of Promontorio but did not meet the requirements of Rio Tinto for it to continue exploration.

Azure has resumed operational control of Promontorio and is assessing Kennecott’s drilling and exploration data before making plans for the next stage of work.

Tony Rovira, Azure managing director, believes Kenecott’s exploration over the past two years has significantly advanced the project and provides an outstanding set of data for future programs to be based on.

“Kennecott’s drilling confirmed the project hosts a large, well-developed copper-mineralised porphyry system,” Rovira said.

“All drilling to date has focussed in the centre of the project area which contains the Promontorio and Cascada copper-gold-silver deposits. However, the majority of the property is covered by post-mineral volcanic rocks and remains relatively unexplored.”

Promontorio is in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua and includes four mineral concessions of 10,520 hectares.

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